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Blog Entry

Market could force Phils to seek relief

Posted on: June 18, 2009 10:10 am
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' biggest need is obvious.

Their rotation has the third-highest ERA in baseball (5.38, ahead of only Cleveland and Baltimore). Their starters have pitched the third-fewest innings in baseball. With Brett Myers on the disabled list and very possibly out for the year, the rotation features top starter Cole Hamels and a bunch of fourth and fifth starters -- if that.

So why, in separate conversations this week, did manager Charlie Manuel and general manager Ruben Amaro both suggest that the Phillies could end up trading for bullpen help rather than a starter?

Simple. The market for starting pitching is bad. While the Phillies continue to scout every starter who is or could be available, they're struggling to find someone who would be a significant upgrade.

"If I had my druthers, we'd add a top-of-the-rotation starter," Amaro said. "That's very difficult. We may very well have to rely on the kids."

The Phils have youngsters J.A. Happ and Antonio Bastardo in their rotation now, along with Hamels, Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer.

With Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard on the disabled list, and with Roy Oswalt unlikely to be dealt, the best starters on the market are Jarrod Washburn and Brad Penny. There's a chance the Rockies could make Jason Marquis available, but he doesn't excite the Phillies, either. Same goes for Pittsburgh's Zack Duke and Paul Maholm, who also could be dealt.

"What we want to do and what we can do may be different things," Amaro said.

What they can do may be to add depth to a bullpen that already features Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge (once he returns from the DL in the next couple of weeks).

"If we can't get a starter, we could upgrade our bullpen and get better," Manuel said. "Getting better is what counts."

Obviously, Manuel would prefer a starter. But not just any starter.

"I'm talking about a horse," he said. "I'm not talking about a guy who would just fill out a rotation."

Those horses aren't available. Or they aren't healthy.

So the Phillies are left with two choices: Wait and hope someone else emerges, or look elsewhere, maybe in the relief market.
As Manuel said, getting better is what counts.
Category: MLB

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Market could force Phils to seek relief

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Market could force Phils to seek relief

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Market could force Phils to seek relief

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Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2009 3:11 pm

Market could force Phils to seek relief

first of all, you need to learn how to spell.....and as far as moyer, all he did was go 9-1 in his last 10 decisions last season....he is still better than whats out there and i don't think that they are cheap....they are looking for the right fit....and despite all of these pitching woes---------who's in first place in the nl east???

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